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Winners Announced
August 2022

Underwater World Challenge

35th CG Boost 3D Art Challenge

276
Submissions received
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Artwork by
Evgeny Romanov
Overview

Underwater World Challenge winners announced!

For our 35th challenge, we received 276 submissions (124 for the "Pro Arena" and 152 for the "Training Arena").

After each judge picked their top 10 submissions for each category, we sat together and chose the winners for the "Pro Arena" and the highlights for the "Training Arena". This was a long discussion and a hard decision, since there were so many fantastic artworks.

We also picked the random winners for the challenge raffle (Training Arena only).

Regrading the prizes, we will contact the winners during the next few days.

Congrats to the winners, and a big “Thank You” goes to our sponsor and everyone, for taking part!

Now scroll down to see the winners.

Artwork by
Evgeny Romanov
How to participate

First of all, choose your side.

Description
Prizes
Rules
Deliverables
Judging Criteria
Description
Prizes
Rules
Deliverables
Judging Criteria

Further questions? Find more info in our FAQ section.

Participate Now

Submit your work.

Select your arena *

Please submit the following two files:
1. A screenshot or clay render of your 3D scene
2. Your final render
Please use the following naming convention for your files:
Final Render: Your_Name_final (e. g. "Zach_Reinhardt_final.jpg")
Screenshot/Clay Render: Your_Name_wip (e. g. "Zach_Reinhardt_wip.jpg")

Thank you!

We will review your submission and then add it to our submission folder above. If your submission is invalid or missing something, you will be informed in a timely manner.
Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again.
Jury

Get to know our jury.

Grant Abbitt
3D Artist & YouTuber (Guest Judge)
Zach Reinhardt
Founder & Lead Instructor @ CG Boost
Masha Bazueva
Community Manager @ CG Boost
Martin Klekner
Instructor @ CG Boost
Jan Egon Preiss
Community Manager @ CG Boost
Daniel Nees
Community Manager @ CG Boost

Get feedback and improve faster with our community.

Post your work-in-progress renders in our community and get constructive feedback from the CG Boost team and other members.

FaQ

Frequently asked questions.

Where do I ask questions about the challenge?
Can I update my entry after I submitted it already, if I notice a mistake?
Can I share my artwork online before the challenge is over?
When I win the challenge, can I get cash instead of the prizes?
Can I enter both categories at the same time?
Jury

Get to know our jury.

Grant Abbitt
3D Artist & YouTuber (Guest Judge)
Zach Reinhardt
Founder & Lead Instructor @ CG Boost
Masha Bazueva
Community Manager @ CG Boost
Martin Klekner
Instructor @ CG Boost
Jan Egon Preiss
Community Manager @ CG Boost
Daniel Nees
Community Manager @ CG Boost
Winners: Pro Arena
Winners

Let’s see who has won in the Pro Arena.

Let’s see who has won this challenge.

Finalists

No items found.

Winners

1st Place

Sylvain Guerrero

We’re congratulating Sylvain Guerrero for winning the First Place!

Follow Sylvain:
Twitter

Sylvain about his entry:

“My artwork is inspired by saturation diving, a fascinating and dangerous discipline. Two divers descend into the depths of a strange ocean, to work on a futuristic pipeline. Their umbilicals are the only weak link that ties them to life. I used blender to make this image, and did some color editing in photoshop.”

Created using Blender, Photoshop.

Wip Image

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “Can't really express how much I love this render. It just feels "right". From the shapes of the tube and cables, over to the color choices, composition and lighting. This image shows, that even with relatively simple shapes, you can create something impressive. Well deserved first place!”

Masha Bazueva: “I love every single thing of this piece! The composition is well done, the colors are greatly combined, the lighting is perfect. So many nice details to discover, I can’t stop watching this artwork. Well deserved first place! :)”

Daniel Nees: “There is so much to like about this image. The subject is so simple yet effective due to the skill with which it is portrayed. It somehow even made mundane cables look interesting! The lighting and colours work extremely well together and the environment feels so vibrant. Well done!”

Grant Abbitt: “Amazing image, well crafted with great composition and lighting. Great sense of size and depth with a wonderful flow. The only area for minor improvement is working on the materials in some places.”

Jan Egon Preiss: “This was a clear winner at first sight. There is everything you expect from a great piece: dynamics of the story, composition, and very nice use of the light and color palette. The technical quality of this render only confirms my choice here.”

Martin Klekner: “I absolutely love this piece and kept returning to it throughout the whole judging process. The mood, the combination of colors, the detail of the environment and the lighting - everything is just top-notch. Even the shape and composition of the cables is freakin' awesome! :-D A clear overall winner for me.”

2nd Place

Caecilia Isabella Glaas

We’re congratulating Caecilia Isabella Glaas for winning the Second Place!

Follow Caecilia:

Instagram

Artstation

Caecilia about her entry:

“My Artwork is based on an amazing 2D concept art by Julia Blattman. My main focus was on the Look Development and lighting of the scene to capture the underwater mood. The sculpting of the octopus was done in ZBrush and I later rigged and posed him in Maya. I used Adobe Substance 3D Painter for texturing, everything else was done in Maya and rendered with Arnold.”

Created using Zbrush, Maya, Substance Painter.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “Ohh soo cute! But this render strikes not only because of its cuteness, it is also well-crafted and tells a nice little story. I really enjoy the unique painterly look of it, everything just fits together. Also, fantastic work with the materials, especially on the octopus. The lighting and composition is top-notch as well.”

Masha Bazueva: “Such a lovely artwork ^^ Greatly done stylization of the creature and the painting style gives this piece a magic atmosphere! Also, we have some nice storytelling that gives a very cute creature some personality, and this makes us fall in love with it even more. Great work.”

Daniel Nees: “The style and design of this piece is really nice. It's so clean and well constructed, and the story of the adorable little squid is on display for all to see with its little hoard of treasure. The skill required to make such a simple, stylised scene look so good is no small thing.”

Grant Abbitt: “Fun and cute looking image with a nice style. A nice, simple but effective story. For improvement, I would say a little more contrast as it's a touch flat”

Jan Egon Preiss: “Nice artistic approach. It proves that great art doesn’t need to be photorealistic. The story is well presented, and the viewer’s eye goes directly to the subject. Subtle colors and stylized render enhance the fairy-tale vibe. Simply cute.”

Martin Klekner: “Though I am generally not the biggest fan of cute little creature artwork, this one melted my heart :-D Also, all the little objects scattered around the octopus give this piece a nice story depth, which is always a plus in my book.”

3rd Place

Adi Šehić

We’re congratulating Adi Šehić for winning the Third Place!

Follow Adi:

Behance

Artstation

Adi about his entry:

“I wanted to make a scene with old boat, sunken and laying on the bottom of the ocean. I started off with reference searching, making quick PS sketch and blocking out in Blender. After blocking out I started adding details and experimented with lightning. Tools used: Blender, Photoshop, Marvelous Designer (for sails). Ship model is from Polyhaven. Rest of the models are from Megascans, Blenderkit and Sketchfab.”

Created using Blender, Photoshop, Marvelous Designer.

Wip Image

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “Fantastic image, with a great composition, that captures a more realistic scene. There are so many details to discover, but it is no distracting noise, which can easily happen with such renders. Fantastic lighting and depths, which highlights the silhouette of the ship. Also, I love the rocks in the foreground, as if we are diving through the ocean and discovering this ship.”

Daniel Nees: “I personally love this piece. The detail is astounding and the sense of scale is impressive. The only thing it's missing for me is a sense of story but that doesn't take away from the quality of the image. I could happily look at this for a long time.”

Masha Bazueva: “I love the environment design of this artwork! It looks so detailed and natural, and the lighting and composition are perfect! Maybe some fishes look a bit too big compared to the boat ad there are some small areas of the rocks and sails where the subdivisions look a bit low. Apart from these very small things that you actually don’t even notice, the artwork is great, well done! ”

Grant Abbitt: “An epic, fun piece with great composition and drama. Nicely framed to give the feeling of discovery. A minor point would be to get rid of the ropes or at least show more degradation as they seem a bit too perfect”

Jan Egon Preiss: “Almost monochromatic palette puts all initial attention on composition, light, and silhouettes. All is nicely defined here. A well-defined sense of space through the separation of foreground and background immediately shows the hero asset and its story.”

Martin Klekner: “This could also be a poster for the whole competition. A wonderfully detailed, technically amazing piece. What it lacks is a bit more of a story to it, but other than that, this is one of my absolute favorites for this competition.”

Honorable Mention

Manuel Koepp

We’re congratulating Manuel Köpp for the Honorable Mention!

Follow Manuel:

Artstation

Manuel about his entry:

“When I thought of underwater worlds, the mysterious and in places terrifying deep sea with all its undiscovered secrets immediately came to mind. Therefore, I tried to capture this mood, the oppressive and eerie of the deep sea, a place hostile to humans and at the same time a place of unimagined resources. So what else could man do than venture into these depths and possibly awaken what is hidden in the dark. For the main part I used Blender with the exception of the base landscape which was done in World Creator and a few rocks from Poliigon.”

Created using Blender, World Creator.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “This image is a good example on how darkness in a render can work. It has great story telling, it takes a bit until you see the creature. The modeling, materials, environment, lighting and all the little details you can discover are top quality. Only the bottom left part of the image has a bit too much dark and empty space, and the big underwater station makes seeing the submarines in front of it a bit hard.”

Daniel Nees: “That monster gives me chills. The scene is a little bit dark, but the story comes through well and the scene itself is very well-constructed, right down to the tiny details like the little dust plume on the sea floor.”

Masha Bazueva: “I have seen this artwork evolving in the community and love the final result! The color combination, composition and modelling looks great, especially the monster design. The image may look a bit dark but for me, it actually conveys even better the scariness of the monster, since you first see the light thing in front of it, and then you notice the monster and you kind of get scared (at least me). Very well done!”

Grant Abbitt: “A fun image with an epic story. I enjoy the texturing and lighting of the base. For improvement, i think the composition needs some work as it doesn’t lead the eye very well through the image”

Jan Egon Preiss: “Nice combination of underwater fantasy/sci-fi. The believable underwater city with lots of attention to detail frames the story nicely. A little better crop or revelation of the creature would improve the balance of the scene, but that is a minor flaw here.”

Martin Klekner: “Dark and disturbing, this monster piece really caught my attention. One thing that would improve it a lot would be to add more detail on the left part, which would balance out the composition and remove some of the completely black areas. Other than that, wonderful render!”

Honorable Mention

Chantal Prentice

We’re congratulating Chantal Prentice for the Honorable Mention!

Follow Chantal:

Artstation

Chantal about her entry:

“My artwork is about a woman lost in the ocean, forgotten at the bottom of a destroyed temple, desperately trying to go up and escape this gloomy place. There is a cast of light in the center of the piece to give her a sense of hope, thinking she might have a chance to escape this hole. I used Maya to do the modeling for the concrete structure and the retopology of the character. I then went in Zbrush to sculpt the character and add details to the structure. Afterwards, I went in Substance painter to texture the character and the structures. Then I went in Unreal Engine 5 to assemble everything and start the level art. For the vegetation, I used the assets in Quixel bridge and I used a Epic game pack for the ivy. With Unreal, I tweaked the postprocess and the light, and added some Vfx to give the ambiance of the sea. Finally, I took a screenshot in Unreal Engine and tweaked it a bit in Photoshop to give it the final result.”

Created using Maya, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Unreal Engine, Photoshop.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “This one is a very well-crafted artwork. Great composition, the dark shapes on the edges framing the subject nicely, and the lighting is highlighting the center part. Fantastic work on the ruin in the background, and I love the pose of the character and the floating cloths. Storytelling wise, it would be great to better understand the motivation, why this woman is diving underwater and where she is going.”

Daniel Nees: “This is a piece worthy of any art gallery. It's beautiful and a little bit haunting, with fantastic lighting and a great sense of atmosphere. It's just a shame that there's no apparent story to extract from it. Nonetheless, it's a great bit of art and I hope Chantal is proud of it!”

Masha Bazueva: “I love the colors of this piece! They look really magic! Also, there are a lot of details in the scene that make the ambient look very believable. I was curious to know if there was some kind of story behind the image and read the description. The story should be about a drowning lady that has been forgotten there by someone. Actually, the image feels a lot like there is no story behind it, maybe because it’s not really clear how this could happen and why this woman has such an elegant dress. Maybe working a bit more on the details of the story and adding some more storytelling elements to the scene would help a lot.Anyway, I love this artwork, it looks absolutely great.”

Grant Abbitt: “A simple but effective idea well executed with great composition. For improvement, I would suggest adding a little more story.”

Jan Egon Preiss: “Technically - very well executed. Good central composition, choice of colors, and the correct position of lights, all work well here and draw enough attention. Some dynamics to the story would improve this even further.”

Martin Klekner: “An enchanting color palette combined with lots of details both on the environment and the character. A bit more story to it would help, but other than that, very well done!”

Highlights: Training Arena

Let’s see how our newcomers have performed.

Highlights

Highlight

Bharat Kumawat

We’re congratulating Bharat Kumawat for the Highlight!

Follow Bharat:

Instagram

Bharat about his entry:

“I am better in toon model but not in realistic I always try to create real scenes but for this time I have only 5-6 hours, so I tried my best to do so from modeling to composting all I did in 5 hours gathered some reference and just tried to go with the flow, but I am satisfied with the result. I used blender for everything”

Created using Blender.

Wip Image

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “I like the simplistic, colorful clay-like style of this render. Although, it is quite colorful, it is not too noisy. You can clearly see what is going on, the dark blue background helps a lot here. It took me a bit to realize that this is actually a person diving, and not a little robot submarine. All in all, fantastic and cute render.”

Daniel Nees: “What a delightful scene! The models all look really clean and everything works together really well without a single spot out of place. It has a nice sense of style, and the composition is excellent. Good work!”

Masha Bazueva: “Very lovely stylized image! I like very much the scene elements design, especially the diver. The composition is well done, and the colors are nicely combined. Great work! ”

Grant Abbitt: “Nice idea and great stylized choice with good use of colours. Perhaps a little more work on the sail and how they reflect the lights.”

Jan Egon Preiss: “Clean and stylized. Playful colors create a nice mood. A little bit of work on lighting and removing some objects from the scene to make it less busy would help the readability.”

Martin Klekner: “Wonderfully playful and clean in style - this piece really made me smile. Wonderful job, both technically and aesthetically!”

Highlights

Daniel Verduzco Villanueva

We’re congratulating Daniel Verduzco Villanueva for the Highlight!

Follow Daniel:

Instagram

Artstation

Daniel about his entry:

“This piece tells a story of a jellyfish's hunter down in the deep of the ocean. Everything from the modelling to the textures was made in Blender, I just used Clip Studio Paint to draw several concepts, ideas and compositions; and Photoshop for a final retouch. My only external-asset was the guy (gray, unrigged and naked). The main challenge to me was in the storytelling, composition and visual appealing more than modelling and texturing; but I feel satisfied with what I made.”

Created using Blender, Photoshop.

Wip Image

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “Great render, with a fantastic composition and lighting. The character at the center is nicely highlighted, and has a good pose. The jellyfishes have some interesting shapes and are also nicely floating around the diver in a non-distracting way. Maybe the materials of the jellyfishes could use some more transparency, they feel a bit too solid in some places.”

Daniel Nees: “I love the lighting and atmosphere of this image. With the possible exception of some distracting jellyfish, the composition is really well executed and the quality of the models is top-notch.”

Masha Bazueva: “Very nice scene. The composition is great, I like very much how the empty space is used to drive the attention to the diver. The jellyfishes have a great shape design, but maybe the glowing textures are a bit too distracting. Anyway well done! ”

Grant Abbitt: “Good composition and colour palette with well-placed lighting. Perhaps a more dynamic pose for the diver would have pushes this piece further”

Jan Egon Preiss: “Almost a dreamy scene. Nicely chosen colors, light position, and composition. The scene is a little bit too busy with the jellyfish, which draws a lot of attention, so the diver gets pushed aside.”

Martin Klekner: “This piece lies somewhere between realistic and stylized - and it works! I really like the lighting on the character, as well as the glowy detail of the jellyfish. Very nice work!”

Highlight

Emin Mamedov

We’re congratulating Emin Mamedov for the Highlight!

Follow Emin:

Artstation

Emin about his entry:

“I created a sunken temple dedicated to the ancient god Cthulhu, whose ruins are found by a submarine. This work was inspired by books authored by Howard Philips Lovecraft and Jules Verne. When creating, I used tools such as a Blender, Photoshop.”

Created using Blender, Photoshop.

Wip Image

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “Mysterious and spooky render. Must be frightening to find such a statue down in the dark deep. Great creature statue sculpting and very moody. Maybe a slight bit more color variation would be good here, since everything just looks brown. So that there is a better distinction between the environment and the submarine and humans. Good lighting, though.”

Daniel Nees: “There's a lot to like in this scene, from the design of the submarine and the atmosphere to the intriguing story it's telling. It's just a shame we're losing sight of the divers in the darkness!”

Masha Bazueva: “Very interesting and well done scene! I like the composition, the modeling of the elements and the lighting. Maybe I would give some more attention to the divers, it took me some time to notice the first one in front of us, ad I had to zoom the image to see the silhouette of the second. Maybe moving them a bit closer to the center of the scene would be helpful. Anyway great work!”

Grant Abbitt: “Epic scene with good story. Slightly distraction diver top right which is hard to make out.”

Jan Egon Preiss: “Awesome Lovecraftian piece. Well-detailed submarine and “Cthulhu” monster. Good lighting and dark brownish tones make this a really good horror revelation scene. The technical quality of the render needs some improvement to make it a perfect piece.”

Martin Klekner: “This render wonderfully captures the Lovecraftian horror feel, including the murky water quality, Cthulhu aesthetic and the submarine design. A bit more detail on the diver would be a nice finishing touch, but overall, the piece works great!”

Highlight

Liam Marsh

We’re congratulating Liam Marsh for the Highlight!

Liam about his entry:

“A shaft of sunlight falls on a smooth newt that hangs in the water, this draws out from the darkness a brown trout looking for an easy meal. But there is more to this newt than meets the eye and the fish might come to regret its choice of prey. I stated this scene by setting up the lights. I added a few place holder objects then added a simple volume to catch the light and create a cone shape. The rest of the scene and the story I imagined was informed by this lighting. I created the fish from an underwater photograph I had of a brown trout. I created the rough outline of the fish projected the photograph onto it, then later sculpted just a few of the details to catch the light. I was really pleased how it turned out. For such a quick, simple model I think it looks pretty convincing. The newt I sculpted by hand from scratch. Originally I was going to sculpt a natural looking newt, but I wasn’t sure I could create something convincing. I decide instead to create something more human like with exaggerated arms and head. This then gave me the idea to add the fishhook and line. I hoped that the hook hinted at wider story, something just out of sight and gave meaning to the newt being in this shaft of light. Finally, I wanted to add floating particles to the scene that would catch the light and communicate better that this was an underwater scene. I added multiple planes with a particle system to try and achieve this. Unfortunately these did not show up very well in the final render so I added some extra particle effects later in photoshop."

Created using Blender, Photoshop.

Wip Image

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “Love the storytelling in this render, although it is so simple. The main creature here is nicely highlighted, and the details feel right. The fish head peaking out of the dark looks great as well. Although the lighting fits perfectly here. Maybe a vertical cropping would be beneficial, since we have so much dark space on both sides.”

Daniel Nees: “A battle for the ages! Every part of me wants to see how this fight turns out. The textures, models, lighting, and composition are all excellent and despite the simplicity of the scene, I found this piece to be one of the most interesting.”

Masha Bazueva: “I like the story of this submission so much! Would love to see what happens next and if the little dude wins. Apart from the story, we also have a very nice creature design and the lighting fits the storytelling greatly. Maybe there is a bit too much empty space, I feel like this image could work much better with a vertical crop. Anyway, this is not too disturbing for me personally. Well done! ”

Grant Abbitt: “Clever story and interesting use of lighting. Possibly a crop for better composition.”

Jan Egon Preiss: “When there is enough story, you do not need more objects, more lights, or more defined textures. A nice example of how to create more with less. The composition is correct, but a better crop would help to frame the essence of the story.”

Martin Klekner: “The little story hint of this one really made me fall in love with it. Great idea! Making the composition vertical by cropping the dark empty areas on the sides would make it even better, in my opinion.”

Highlight

Por Cho

We’re congratulating Por Cho for the Highlight!

Follow Por:

Artstation

Por about his entry:

“It is about a discovery of an ancient ruin in an underwater cave. Direct modeling and sculpting are done in Blender (temple, statue, shark, submarine). Procedural modeling, layout and set dressing are done in Houdini (rock, cliff, seaweed). Lighting and shading are done using Redshift (for Houdini)."

Created using Blender, Houdini.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Zach Reinhardt: “Great render with a submarine discovering secret temple ruins underwater. Great details all around, especially on the sculptures. The god rays and lighting are also working well here, to brighten up the cave and highlighting the center. I feel cropping the image and cutting away the dark edges on both sides would help a bit. Also, the scaling of some elements (like the seaweed) feels a bit off, so that it is hard to actually understand the size of this cave.”

Daniel Nees: “Everything is extremely well put together, and the lighting draws your eye to exactly where it needs to be. The submarine seems a little bit low-quality, especially against the incredible detail in the environment, but otherwise, there's very little to complain about. Great stuff!

Masha Bazueva: “This is one of the artworks I had the opportunity to see progressing in our community, and I liked it from the beginning. The composition is great, I love the design of the ruins and environment and the lighting is well done. Great work!”

Grant Abbitt: “A fun scene with lots of interesting aspects. Possibly a little busy and could do with more emphasis on the focal point.”

Jan Egon Preiss: “The well-detailed scene with a good definition of the space and with a good distribution of details. The objects and their texture quality are very nice. The thing to improve here is the submarine, which seems less detailed than the rest. Also, the better crop would help to dive more into the scene and would put more focus on what is important.”

Martin Klekner: “I love the lighting and colors on this one! What spoils it a little bit is the simple design of the submarine, which somehow doesn't fit to the detailed nature of the rest of the piece. Other than that, a wonderful render!”

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